McAuliffe releases 'Virginia is for vaccine lovers' plan to increase vaccination rates

McAuliffe releases 'Virginia is for vaccine lovers' plan to increase vaccination rates
© Greg Nash

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe released a proposal on Tuesday to increase coronavirus vaccination rates in the commonwealth, dubbed "Virginia is for Vaccine Lovers." 

The campaign, which is a play on Virginia's travel and tourism slogan, marks the former governor's 20th policy proposal of the campaign. 

Under the plan, McAuliffe would push for all Virginia school districts to require the vaccine for their employees and personnel and make sure that all health care workers and nursing home staff follow federal vaccine guidance. On the business front, McAuliffe said he would provide incentives for businesses to require vaccines for all employees. 

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Additionally, McAuliffe said funds would be leveraged to provide more access to affordable child care and out-of-school programs in an effort to address the learning loss experienced during the pandemic. 

"COVID is here, it's not going anywhere anytime soon, so we have to do everything we possibly can to keep our children in school, build the strongest economy, and we've got to really get serious and we've got to fight this deadly infection," McAuliffe told reporters on a press call Tuesday. 

The former governor has repeatedly swiped at Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin for not supporting vaccine mandates. Youngkin has urged Virginians to get the vaccine but has maintained it is their personal choice. 

Youngkin hit back at McAuliffe's attacks in a tweet, citing his own PSA for Virginians to get vaccinated, and offered to film one with McAuliffe. 

"Hey Terry McAuliffe, I’m glad you’ve finally realized that a marketing campaign encouraging Virginians to get vaccinated against COVID is important. I released a PSA weeks ago. Where’s yours? Let’s put politics aside and film one together this Thursday at the debate – you in?" Youngkin tweeted.  

McAuliffe and Youngkin will come face to face for this first debate of the general election in Grundy, Va., on Thursday.